Entrance sign on State Route 374 in Nevada's Amargosa Valley, from Beatty and Rhyolite to Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells.

Death Valley National Park is the largest national park unit outside of Alaska, at 3.3 million acres. The park lies in the northwest portion of the Mojave Desert and transitional Great Basin habitats, and elevations range from 282 feet below sea level at Badwater to 11,043 feet at Telescope Peak in the Panamint Mountains. Winters can be cold, and summers famously hot, typically reaching 120 degress Fahrenheit for many days. On July 10, 1913, the United States Weather Bureau recorded a scorching 134 degrees Fahrenheit at Furnace Creek, possibly the hottest temperature observed on Earth.

Geology is incomparably revealed in this stark yet beutiful park, history and Shoshone-Paiute cultural stories are evident, and a suprising number of desert animals and wildlife make the park their home. "Superblooms" happen on rare occasions when very wet, rainy winters occur, although average rainy years can also cause excellent wildflower displays.

See https://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm

Mustard-colored badlands at sunset by Zabriskie Point.

Zabriskie Point sunset.

Dante's View panorama of the 100-mile-long Death Valley trough.

Desert five-spot.

Purple mat and desert star wildflowers.

Desert gold in Death Valley can bloom spectacularly at or below sea level if there is enough winter rain at the right time and the temperatures are right (not too hot and not too cold). Low rainfall years will result in few or no wildflowers, but the park is still worth a visit. Check with the park visitor center for potential wildflower forecasts: https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

Devil's Golf Course, salt pan below sea level in Death Valley.

Hiker exploring the hills around Artist's Palette.

Summer thunderclouds and Moon over the Funeral Range, Death Valley.

Badwater Road through Death Valley.

Caltha-leaf phacelia.

Gravel ghost.

Brown-eyed evening primrose wildflowers.

Badlands at Zabriskie Point.

The park contains many slot canyons that you can hike into.

Scotty's Castle, closed for repairs after a large flash flood event. heck the park website for potential opening times: https://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/historyculture/scottys-castle.htm

Deep canyons in the Black Mountains of Death Valley National Park.

Desert gold and golden evening primrose blooming in southern Death Valley during a rainy year.

Desert gold blooming in Death Valley during a rainy year.

Mountain ranges in Death Valley National Park are "sky islands" with forests of pinyon pine, Utah juniper, and sagebrush on the Grapevine and Panamint Mountains.

Stovepipe Dunes.

Death Valley view from the Panamint Mountains: the park is characterized by extremes of altitude, rainfall, and temperature.

Hiking up slot canyons in the Grapevine Mountains.

Hiking and exploring the many slot canyons in the mountain ranges of Death Valley National Park could take a lifetime.

Devil's Cornfield. This is actually a habitat of marsh shrubs called arrowweed (Pluchea sericea), named because Shoshone and Pauite tribal people used the straight woody stems for arrows. Even though this sandy plant community is down in Death Valley below sea level, the groundwater is relatively near the surface. So these weathered, wind-blown and heat-blasted plants survive well, shaped by the elements.

Ubehebe Crater in northern Death Valley is a 600-feet-deep volcanic gas and steam explosion crater, possibly formed as recently as 2,100 years ago. See: https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/ubehebe-crater.htm

Desert star.

Golden evening primrose.

Gravel ghost.

Flower of gravel ghost.


See the map here, of Death Valley National Park in eastern California and adjacent Nevada: